north wing, and is about 70 by 20 feet in dimensions. It is surrounded by a 15-foot fence, and contains the sinks, the supply of fuel on hand, and a variety of rubbish. The two dwelling houses used for hospital purposes might be made to answer their purpose tolerably well, but are now in a miserable state of police and management, overcrowded and filthy. The prison office and prison quarters for commissioned officers occupy the south wing, and are, if possible, in worse condition than the other parts of the prison. Prisoners of war under sentence are confined in strong rooms on the second floor of the main prison building.
Myrtle Street Military Prison: I can say no word for this building except in unqualified condemnation. It is overcrowded and extremely filthy in every part, and its keeper, a civilian, is utterly unqualified for his post. Two instances will suffice. There are two female prisoners convinced here, a white woman and a colored girl. I found them occupying a room on the second floor, about 12 by 5 by 8 feet in dimensions, with two windows, both of which were nailed down and the door locked. When the door was closed the only possible supply of air was through a partly broken pane of glass. The air of the room was rendered still more foul by a close stool, which bore evidence of not having been cleansed for some time. The white woman was in confinement, I believe, for stealing from a soldier. The colored girl for no crime, but detained as a witness. There are two strong rooms in this prison, each eight feet in all its dimensions, planked and ceiled with heavy oak plank. The inner room only opens into the outer, and in both, when the doors are closed, the only source of supply for fresh air is through about a dozen inch auger holes (not leading into the open air) in one corner of the ceiling and the same number near the floor. In the inner of these rooms I found six men and in the outer room two. Those in the inner room would thus have but eighty-five and one-third cubic feet of air per man an with no possibility of renewal. The poor fellows were pallid and suffering severely from want of air. I am happy to add that Lieutenant-Colonel Marsh, acting assistant provost-marshal-general, who accompanied me on my inspection, took the same view of the matter as myself, and ordered the immediate removal of these men to other quarters and that no others be placed in these rooms without orders from him.
Present number of prisoners - civilians, male, 48; female, 2; total, 50; Federal prisoners, 104; total, 154. The sick are removed to the Gratiot Street Prison hospital. Prison fund, January 31, $861. 38.
A. M. CLARK,
Surgeon and Acting Medical Inspector of Prisoners of War.
OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,
Washington, D. C., February 23, 1864.
Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:
SIR: I have the honor to submit herewith, for the consideration of the Honorable Secretary of War, a communication received from Major-General Butler, commissioner for exchanges, in relation to the suspension of the order which has hitherto been in force at Point Lookout prohibiting the reception by prisoners of war of articles of clothing, except from near relatives, or of boxes of provisions under any circumstances. * This prohibitory order was based on the fact that the prisoners at all our prison stations were receiving large supplies of
* See February 20, p. 973.